Please see full update below and our FAQs page.

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Planning News:

Written ministerial Statement: 1 April 2021

The Government have published a written ministerial statement as part of their COVID-19 response roadmap out of lockdown. The statement includes further extensions to temporary construction hours and asks for Council's to take a positive and flexible approach to planning enforcement to support economic recovery. The department's FAQs have therefore been updated in light of the statement and can be acccess using the links below:

Written ministerial statement

FAQs (pdf)

For those wishing to extend their construction hours please see the guidance provided within the FAQs.

Two digital hearing appeals postponed for 2 Canterbury Way & Banstead Down: 4 January 2021

The Council has been notified on 4 January 2021 that two planning appeals which were due to take place digitally on 6 & 7 January 2021 have now been postponed.

The appeals were:

- 2 Canterbury Way, Croxley Green - APP/P1940/W/20/3244533

- Banstead Down, Rickmansworth - APP/P1940/W/19/3246212

The Council will be notifying residents of the re-arranged dates as soon as possible. 

Policy CP4 Evidence reviewed: December 2020

The Council has reviewed local evidence and is of the view that affordable housing need continues to deserve significant weight. It is considered that the National Planning Policy Framework does not outweigh the weight to be attached to local evidence of affordable housing need in Three Rivers. As such, proposals for residential development of sites of 10 dwellings or less will continue to contribute towards the provision of affordable housing.

Policy CP4 Evidence (December 2020) (pdf)

For further details relating to Policy CP4 please click here.

Changes to permitted development / Use Class Order comes into force: 03/09/2020

The General Permitted Development Order 2015 (as amended) was altered further with various new permitted development rights which came into force on 31st August 2020. Some of the changes are detailed below:

PDF application forms and associated documents relating to the above processes can be found on the Planning Portal website. Completed forms must be sent to 

Changes to the Use Class Order came into force on 1st September 2020 aimed at creating vibrant, mixed use town centres by allowing greater freedoms. For example, a new 'Commercial, business and service' use class (Class E) has been created. 

For more information on the changes you are advised to speak to the Duty Planner.

Extension to time limits comes into force: 19/08/2020

A planning permission is generally valid for 3 years from the date of issuing the decision notice. Following the Business and Planning Act 2020 the following changes have come into effect:

  • Unimplemented planning permissions with time limits for implementation which were due to lapse between 19 August 2020 and 31 December 2020 are now extended to 1 May 2021. This happens automatically, with no requirement to obtain Additional Environmental Approval from the Local Planning Authority.
  • Unimplemented planning permissions with time limits for implementation which passed between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 2020 are also restored and the time limit extended to 1 May 2021, subject to Additional Environmental Approval (AEA) being granted (see process below).

Further time limit changes also relate to Outline Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent. For the legislation changes in full please visit here.

If you permission requires "Additional Environmental Approval" please submit your request in writing to Applicants must provide the following details with their request which will be dealt with by the LPA has quickly as possible:

  1. Original planning permission
  2. The relevant condition
  3. Any conditions which relate to environmental mitigation or enhancement
  4. Report including a reasoned explanation of why in the applicant’s view there have been no changes to environmental circumstances which would make the original screening or assessment out of date.

For recent changes as a result of Coronavirus please view the FAQs

Changes to the current planning system: 10/08/2020

The Government are consulting on various changes to planning policy and regulations including a fundamental reform of the planning system. The changes proposed are set out in the documents listed below: 

The Council is currently reviewing the proposed reforms and will be providing their response before the deadline of 29th October 2020.

Coronavirus update: 04/08/2020


The department is open for business and all delegated applications are being validated, assessed and determined as normal, wherever possible. Timescales on applications are therefore unaffected unless an extension of time has been agreed between parties or an application has been called into a Planning Committee (see below for further information).

The Council would politely request that all future planning applications are submitted online either via the Planning Portal or emailed to

Further, all comments in relation to live planning applications must be submitted via Planning Online or by email to the above address. Should you have any questions please speak to the relevant Case Officer.

Site visits are currently being undertaken on a case by case basis so Case Officers will be contacting all applicants to provide photographs and/or videos where required and erect site notices on our behalf. This will be communicated to all new applicants.

All Planning Committees are being held virtually via the Council's video conference platform as well as being streamed online. To keep up to date when the Planning Committee's are taking place please click here.

Recent legislation changes as part of the Business and Planning Act 2020 are highlighted within the FAQs document above and include the following:

In respect of the department's Duty Planning Service, this will now ONLY operate by phone between the hours of 10am-1pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Council building is now closed so Officers will be on hand to take phone calls and may ask that you submit information to them electronically.

Please keep an eye on this page for further updates.

Affordable Housing requirement upheld at appeal:

The Council have recently been successful at appeal in defending the application of Policy CP4 (Affordable Housing) of the Core Strategy. Additionally, another recent appeal also supported the Council's view that all schemes involving a net gain should be required (subject to viability) to contribute towards affordable housing. 

For more information on the above and to read the recent appeal decisions please click here.

For all the latest planning news at national level please view the following websites:

Planning Portal
UK Housing and Planning
Royal Town Planning Institute  



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